This information was adapted from "A Guide to Vaccination for your Dog" and "A Guide to Vaccination for your Cat", published by Zoetis and Pfizer Animal Health respectively.
Why are vaccinations important?
Our pets are at risk for a variety of infectious diseases, some of which can be life-threatening. Vaccinations can help prevent infectious disease. Preventative medicine is the cornerstone of veterinary medicine and can help lessen the severity of or completely prevent infection.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain weakened or inactivated forms of bacteria or viruses. These stimulate the immune system to form antibodies that fight off and neutralize viruses and bacteria if your pet is exposed at a later date.
Why do puppies and kittens need more frequent vaccinations?
Puppies ingest maternal antibodies while nursing. These provide protection from infectious disease in the early weeks of life. As puppies age, these maternal antibodies fade and they require vaccines to form antibodies of their own. Every puppy is different and the number of maternal antibodies present varies. We vaccinate puppies multiple times to ensure that maternal antibodies do not interfere with their ability to form their own antibodies.
How often should my pet be vaccinated?
In every pet, antibodies and therefore immunity gradually declines over time and therefore booster vaccinations are necessary. Vaccine schedules are determined based on a pet's lifestyle, age, risk, and previous vaccinations.
What are the potential risks of vaccinations?
As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with vaccination however, the benefits of vaccination almost always outweigh the low risk of adverse effects. Allergic reactions to vaccines may occur and may present as a local reaction at the injection site or a systemic effect such as vomiting or diarrhea. Please consult your veterinarian regarding possible risks and how to address reactions if they do occur.
DA2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza)
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
Feline Respiratory Disease
- Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper)